More than 200 apply for arts school

December 15, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN -- More than 200 students have applied to enroll in the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts in its inaugural year.

Washington County Public Schools Director of Secondary Education Clyde Harrell said officials expected about that number and are pleased with the response.

As of Monday afternoon -- the deadline to apply -- 215 applications had been received. Schools spokesman Richard Wright said additional applications could be received this week that were postmarked Monday.

The high school for the performing arts is under construction on South Potomac Street in downtown Hagerstown. Students will enroll beginning in the 2009-10 school year.


Harrell has said that about 150 students will attend in the school's first year.

Admittance to the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts' dance, theater, visual arts and music programs will be based primarily on auditions, which will be held Feb. 7.

"I am happy to see that we've had a rush of applications at this point, and I'm very pleased with the fact that they seem to be spread out over the departments," Principal Michael T. Thorsen said.

He said many students have applied for more than one concentration, but they will be selected for only one.

Most of the school's applicants will be in ninth grade when the school year begins. Harrell said 110 incoming freshmen have applied.

About 50 incoming sophomores and more than 30 incoming juniors also submitted applications, he said.

The fewest number of students who applied -- 22 -- will be high school seniors when the school opens. Harrell said that was to be expected.

"It's brand new," he said. "It will be easier for them probably to not be leaving a current high school."

Applications were received from students at every Washington County middle and high school. Harrell said applications also have been submitted from students currently enrolled in private schools or out-of-state schools, but that preference would be given to Washington County students.

Those from outside the county will pay tuition.

The schools with most applicants are Smithsburg and Williamsport high schools. Each middle school also had 16 to 18 students apply.

"We're pleased that we've got the interest from across the county and we'll be working on the audition process," Harrell said.

More information

For more details about the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts and the application process, go to

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